RECIPESNovember 21, 2017

add this vegetarian option to your holiday table – sage white beans with crispy brussels sprouts


Entertaining Is complicated enough on its own; when you start trying to accommodate everyone’s special dietary needs and preferences, it can really start to feel like rocket science. Sure, that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but it’s rare that a group of more than 6 people can get together without a slew of food allergies, special diets, and/or eating philosophies.

Whether I’m hosting a cooking class or dinner party – I always try to have food options that allow everyone to navigate their diet comfortably, while still being able to share in the communal experience.

It’s a ‘flexitarian approach’ that satisfies the entire group – regardless of their specific diet.

In the past two weeks, I’ve taught 4 holiday-themed cooking classes, and the creamy white bean dish that I served was the hands down favorite recipe for vegetarians, carnivores, gluten-lovers, and dairy-free haters alike.

There are so many things I love about this recipe: its simplicity, ease of preparation, but most of all, that it is beyond delicious. They cook for 25-35 minutes, but have a rich, complex, creamy texture that makes you feeling like they’ve been simmering for hours.

It serves as both a protein-rich entree for vegetarians, and a satisfying side dish for those also eating meat.

The recipe calls for already cooked beans. You can use canned, though I really like using the beans in tetra boxes that are becoming increasingly available.  Look for the 365 brand at Whole Foods.  Regardless, try to choose beans that are ONLY beans and water as we will use all of the storage liquid. If for some reason your beans are salted, omit or reduce the amount of salt you use.

Pour the entire contents of beans into a pot, with red onion, a sprig of fresh sage, and a head of garlic with the top cut off, and salt. Once thickened and creamy, remove the sage and garlic and add fresh lemon juice.

I like topping the beans with the crispy brussles sprouts and included the recipe, but imagine they would be delicious topped with any roasted vegetable – like broccoli, cauliflower, or mushrooms.

Creamy Sage White Beans


2 boxes cannellini beans (no salt added)
½ red onion, chopped
1 head garlic, top chopped off
1 sprig fresh sage
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
½ lemon


Add beans (with liquid) to a medium sauce pan with olive, garlic, sage, and salt. Bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer for 25-35 minutes. The liquid should be thick – and not watery.

Remove from head, and squeeze lemon juice. Season to taste and serve. The beans will continue to thicken the longer they sit.

Crispy brussels sprouts


1 pound brussels sprouts
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground pepper
½ cup fresh basil, chopped


Preheat oven to 425. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

Use slicing attachment on food processor to slice sprouts. Place in a large bowl. Mix together maple, olive oil, and mustard. Add salt to sprouts, and coat with maple mixture; stir.

Arrange in an even layer on baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes, until the edges of sprouts begin to crisp and brown. Season with pepper (and additional salt if necessary). Add basil, toss and serve.


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